Meet the Maker - Amy Hall

Thursday, July 17, 2014
Hi there!  Todays' Meet the Maker interview is from jewellery designer Amy Hall, aka Red Paper House. Amy makes beautiful wood cut jewellery which we know you are going to love!  We caught up with her recently to discover more about her loves and inspiration...

Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your work? 
I'm Amy, designer, illustrator and owner of Red Paper House. I make jewellery & accessories and create illustrations. My practice combines elements of nature & natural beauty with geometric shapes and bold, contemporary colours. I use paper and wood to create my jewellery and accessories. 

Apart from creating things what else do you do? 
Alongside Red Paper House I work part time at Leeds Art Gallery. I invigilate the exhibitions and also run art inspired family workshops. I enjoy swimming and walking and if there's any spare time in my hectic week I love visiting new places and experimenting with photography. 

When did you know you were an artist/maker? 
I like to think I've always been a maker - I have always made gifts and cards for friends and family. I think I realised I wanted to make a career from making when I was studying for a PGCE. Despite starting the course and enjoying certain aspects I knew teaching wasn't a career that would make me happy in the long term. I made the very difficult decision to leave the course and pursue artistic ventures. 

What do you love most about working in your chosen discipline? 
I love the freedom and flexibility of my work. I love being able to work the hours I choose. I love all the aspects of the creative processes involved in my work; designing, making, experimenting, sourcing new materials etc. I also love the practical side of my work too, physically creating pieces of work that were once just ideas is extremely fun and satisfying. 

Where does your inspiration come from? 
I find lots of inspiration in nature and the natural world around me but ideas and new designs can strike at any time, usually when I'm about to fall asleep. I also get lots of ideas when I'm travelling and swimming - times when I try to clear my mind. 
Describe your studio or workspace? 
My workspace is the box room in the attic of my house. It is very compact and chaotically organised. It looks messy but I know exactly where everything is. It is decorated with my favourite photos, postcards, prints, fairy lights and my cactus collection. I have a notice board of keepsakes, a record player and lots of storage boxes! My partner is a musician and he uses the room next to me to practice his DJ-ing and instruments. Our attic is a creative hub! 
Jean Genet by Alberto Giacometti
If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman (dead or alive), who would it be? 
I would love to see inside everyone's workspace! I love to learn about people's creative processes and the environment in which they work. If I had to choose then at the moment I would probably say Alberto Giacometti. 

How would you describe your creative process? 
My creative process is not strict or rigid and quite difficult to pin down. I have floating ideas which can strike at any time, most of which I try to write down/sketch somewhere. Sometimes I just write down words that I feel are important and then I never use them ever again. But I rarely throw my ideas books away. From the writings and sketches I will usually select stand out designs which I will sketch further in different colours and styles. For my jewellery I will select a final design, accurately draw the final image and send it to be laser cut or create it at home. I play a lot with construction and colour combinations and find it extremely difficult to be methodical when creating pieces as my mind constantly fills with new ideas I want to to try. I constantly leave half finished pieces to complete days later. I'm working hard to restore order to my workspace! 

What handmade possession do you most cherish? 
The handmade item I cherish most is probably a picture my boyfriend made me of his hand. 

What do you do when you are stuck in a creative rut? 
I try to create a new collection or at least a new design one new piece. I also try to work on something creative that isn't part of Red Paper House. I like to write poetry and I plan lots of creative events and groups in my head - which I never act on! Trying to clear my mind helps a lot too, through swimming and meditation. 

Where would you like to be in ten years? 
In 10 year's time I'll still be creating, hopefully working for myself full-time and who knows maybe I'll even get the chance to get one of my creative events in action!

Thank you Amy!  We think your jewellery pieces are just delightful!  You can find Amy's work for sale in our Made in Britain shop.

Made in Britain
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Cabot Circus

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Sun:  11am - 5pm

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